Saturday, October 1, 2011

Commuting in the fall

Last week was very busy work-wise so this post is more of a historical account than I planned it to be.

It's difficult to believe that fall is here. Last Monday morning came with a hint of chill but by the time I rolled into the underground garage at the office, it felt like summer.

At lunchtime I took a good 50 minute walk. By that time it was truly summertime hot on Montreal's streets.

I meandered through the new entertainment district, the Quartier des Spectacles. It was there that I stumbled upon an exhibit of photographs taken from space by Guy Laliberté.
Many countries have space programs, including Canada.

Guy Laliberté, a fellow Quebecker, is a special case. He made up his own space program of one.

The Cirque du Soleil founder became mankind's first clown in space. He brought along clown noses for his space station comrades, but none of the astronauts chose to don them. Real astronauts don't clown around.

Guy took some stunning photos.

That's all I know about clowns in orbit.

Riding in the fall is no big deal. It's certainly nothing like space travel.

If you pick a nice day and you live where the foliage puts on riotous colours, it's a very pleasant feast for the senses.

Commuting on a Vespa in the fall is something completely different.

To do it well, and do it safely and enjoyably, requires discipline and good gear.

Good waterproof rain gear sitting in the pet carrier and ready to deploy is a first must have.

The next thing to consider is how well your scooter is equipped.

With the days getting shorter, an increasing number of commutes will be in darkness. I've added auxiliary rear running, brake and turn indicator lights.

I opted for an Admore Lighting mini light bar. It's a bar of very bright LEDs that combines all the lighting in a single unit. The turn indicators flash in a sequential pattern and the brake light modulates before coming on steadily. The Admore unit increases my visibility substantially.  If you click on the link above for the 'Gear Posts', you'll see the project post that explains everything you need to know about the Admore unit and how I installed it.

My riding jacket (a Corazzo 5.0) has very prominent reflective stripes. My Tourmaster Caliber pants and Icon Patrol gauntlets also feature reflective material.

Cool fall weather makes for pleasant strolls in cardigans and light jackets. Cruising on a scooter calls the wind into play and that changes the equation substantially.

Without a windscreen that extends in front of your hands, and good winter gauntlets, the cold can thoroughly chill you. With those Icon gloves, my Corazzo Underhoody under my armored jacket, and the liner zipped into my armored pants, I'll be able to ride comfortably all the way through October.

As long as it doesn't snow. Then I'll be done for the season, and ready for the commuter train.

1 comment:

Keith - Circle Blue said...

The temperature swings of Autumn presents its own challenges. This morning it was 39F/4C when I left the Condo. It was 66F/19C when I returned. We aren't quite to wet leave season, but it will be here soon.

And, yes. Snow is a stopper. Fortunately here the snow comes and goes. It doesn't stay for the season and doesn't mean the end of commuting for me.

Enjoy the Autumn with all the color it brings.

Thanks for the share.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.